There’s something to be said for the evergreen appeal of trivia games. Chiefly, their charm has always endured in how they can be played by folk of all ages and skill levels. That Trivia Game, by developer The Gameroom, is no different in that regard. Able to be enjoyed by both gamers and non-gamers alike, the game’s accessible charms are bolstered by a pick-up-and-play maxim that operates at its core.
A decent but arguably unspectacular recreation of this timeless test of knowledge, That Trivia Game relies more on the actual trivia itself than attempting to compliment the experience with additional modes or aesthetics.
Underscoring the strength of the game’s accessibility, That Trivia Game allows players to get stuck right into a single or multiplayer trivia session from the offset and with little delay. Sadly, those folks looking to test their knowledge against online opponents will find themselves a little disappointed, as multiplayer is available locally only; its absence a symptom of the game’s impressive, but ultimately narrow focus.
Still, should you have the requisite number of friends locally, multiplayer is where That Trivia Game shines. The tense nature of the questions and the practically non-existent barriers to entry help to make That Trivia Game a superb party game to bring out for both social and familial occasions, doubly so as the game places a premium on accessibility.
How the developer achieves such accessibility is through a clear and concise user interface that is straightforward and easy to interpret. Each player is effectively color-coded by the unique hue of their controller’s Light Bar, while the answers to the questions themselves map directly and naturally to each of the corresponding face buttons; making the initiation of non-gamers into That Trivia Game’s digital fold a pleasingly stress-free exercise.
Once you and up to three other friends have chosen your in-game avatars from a motley bunch of larger-than-life archetypes, including the likes of hook-handed pirates and punk rockers, the quiz begins in earnest and is subsequently divided into four distinct rounds.
One round for example, has players betting an amount of their existing points on a single answer while another, is a rapid-fire affair which is guaranteed to raise the intensity in a social setting as players rush to get their answers in first. The whole affair is briskly paced too, with all four rounds able to be finished in around ten minutes, That Trivia Game fulfils its pick up and play mandate with admirable aplomb.
Easily the greatest strength of That Trivia Game though, is the trivia itself. Boasting a variety of questions and topics from movies and music to science, history and much more besides, players will be hard pressed to identify the same question reeled off twice in a short period of time. Better yet, the difficulty of these questions is extremely well tuned also; ensuring that each player is almost guaranteed to get at least a small handful of questions correct during their run.
If the bulk of the developer’s budget and time has gone into its impressive bank of brain-teasing questions, then it’s equally clear to see the trade-offs which have occurred elsewhere.
The most immediate example of where the game appears lesser is in the number of game types and modes, or lack thereof, which are available. As mentioned previously, there are just two modes – single player and multiplayer, but within those modes there exists no diversification outside of the individual rounds and the random nature of the questions themselves.
Another tell-tale sign of reined-in ambition is in regard to the game’s aesthetics. Framed as a TV quiz show, That Trivia Game fails to aesthetically impress with its simplistic avatars, basic animation and teeth-grindingly cheesy presenter.
And what a presenter he is; if only there was a way to mute him. Looking like a puppet version of the talk show host from The Hunger Games movies, his screeching tones and immeasurably condescending attitude will make you want to plug your ears with a variety of kitchen utensils after just a single session.
One other area, though, where the game fares well is in Remote Play. A perfect candidate for the functionality, That Trivia Game plays effortlessly on PlayStation Vita and is perfect for players looking to get some much-needed practice away from the confines of their living rooms.
Evocative of the Buzz! games that preceded it on PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, That Trivia Game aims to fill a part of the PlayStation 4’s portfolio that has been criminally underserviced up until this point, albeit with far less flair than its last-gen predecessors.
Sure enough while the game might be lacking in features and overall polish, the developers of That Trivia Game have focused on what really counts – the trivia and that proves to be a well-judged design decision. As such, That Trivia Game stands as a decent, fun and accessible take on trivia that can be enjoyed by all ages.